Tech-Savvy Fundraising: Mobile Bidding Enhances Online and Live Auction Events
For years now, those on the cutting edge of fundraising technology have been complementing their events with online auctions. Now, there is something new being added to the mix — mobile bidding. By integrating a live fundraising event with an online auction, you can expand your bidder community and increase participation. By adding mobile bidding, you can bring all the advantages of online auctions to your live event and increase bids to raise more money.
An online auction and live event combined with mobile bidding is a complete, end-to-end fundraising solution. Here are some tips on how to make the integration as seamless as possible, from pre-online auction to post-event.
Promoting your online auctions and live events
The key to maximizing online auctions is being able to use the built-in marketing capabilities that a good platform should offer. A robust online auction platform enables you to promote your live event on your auction website, solicit and feature donated items and sponsorships, and send e-mail campaigns to your community.
- It is a good idea to promote an online auction first and the live event second. This ensures that the greatest number of people among the online bidders and event attendees can view and bid on your auction items, thereby elevating the starting bids at your live event.
- Make some of your items online-only and live-only. This best practice is effective in generating “auction fever,” driving up competition among online and live audiences, and obtaining the highest bids.
- E-mail. E-mail campaigns can be used to drive bidders into the auction, and request item donations and sponsorships from the community.
- Use your website. Promote your event on the homepage and other site pages. You can add “Auction Updates” buttons to your website and enable your community to opt in to receiving auction updates by e-mail.
Selecting items for your online auction and live auction
Be aware of what sells better online versus what sells better live. Historically, auction experts have found that particular types of items sell well in online auctions. Items that can be easily shipped, such gift certificates that can be redeemed at multiple locations, are ideal for online auctions. At traditional live auctions, art and expensive jewelry do well.
Adding mobile bidding to your live event
A mobile platform can create a level playing field where all attendees can bid using their own mobile phones or smartphones. Mobile phone ownership is now so widespread — it’s likely that all attendees will be able to participate. This means that mobile phones can replace the clipboard as the bidding device. Should there be any guests without a mobile phone, laptops and/or tablets can be used to allow everyone to bid.